A recap of the youth group bible teaching from Sunday August 24th 2008
The book of Judges – Ehud! (3:12-30).
The Book of judges is one of my favourite books in the Bible, and Ehud just might be my favourite story out of the Judges.
The story of Ehud is about the unexpected…
- The unexpected opressors (Moabites)
- The unexpected rescuer (Ehud)
- And the unexpected plan
Moab is the unexpected opressor because they are the scardy-cats of the trans-jordan. Numbers 22 tells us that when Israel were traveling through the desert on the way to the promised land, Moab saw the Israelites and were scared stiff! But my, my… how the tables have turned… And because Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord (v12) God handed them over to the Moabites of all people! What an insult.
Ehud is the unexpected rescuer because well… he’s left handed…
No offense to all you lefties out there but… the world is very “right-hand” biased (think about all the things in our world which are made for right-handed people… Cameras, train ticket machines etc…)
Well the biblical world was no different, and the right hand is always associated with strength while the left hand is the weaker counterpart (read the story of Genesis 48, and read Exodus 15:6,12). So Ehud is an unexpected saviour because he’s left handed – he doesn’t have the trademark of strength. And don’t miss the humour in the Ehud story (there’s lots of it!) because Ehud the left-handed man is a descendant of Gera the Benjamite, and Benjamin means “son of my right hand”!
The lefty Ehud is not just an unexpected rescuer, but he’s also got a unexpected and crafty plan! He plans to assassinate Eglon with a homemade short sword hidden under his cloak. None of the Moabites expect Ehud to be a threat, no one checks for his weapon. When he offers his secret message to Eglon, Eglon doesn’t expect Ehud to be dangerous.
And the plan unfolds… The narrator brings the story into slow-mo… The fat king struggles to his feet… Ehud grabs his hidden sword with his left hand drawing it from his right thigh… Ehud plunges the short sword into the fat belly… The blade goes in so far the handle is covered over by the fat… The fat king’s bowels blow out all over the floor… Ehud draws back his hand and escapes out the window… Brilliant!! The story then really becomes comical. The servants wait outside until the point of embarrassment thinking that Eglon is relieving himself on the toilet, and the irony is that he has relieved himself, but not naturally, and not on the toilet! They really should make this into a movie!
Ehud calls Israel to battle and Moab is defeated. But notice who it is that has really been judging and rescuing Israel throughout this story… Verse 12 – The Lord gave Israel over to Moab. Verse 15 – The Lord gave them a deliverer. Verse 28 – The Lord gave Moab into the hands of Israel.
God is the one in control here. He delivers Israel from their enemy through the hand of an unexpected saviour.
And this is what God has done for us. He has delivered us from our enemy (sin and death) through the hands of an unexpected saviour – Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:18 – 2:5
“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.“
How does this passage and the story of Ehud effect:
- Your confidence in proclaiming the gospel?
- Your assurance of salvation?
- The importance of ‘status’ in society?
- The way you should treat the lowly?